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Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908




 

 

July 29, 1943

Students in the Letcher County School System will have no transportation to classes when schools open August 2. “We will have to go without transportation this year, for the simple reason there are no buses to be bought,” explains Fleming-Neon Consolidated Schools Principal William B. Hall. “There are no busses being made. The motor vehicle factories are busy turning out tanks and plane for the Army. … I don’t think there is a boy or girl in Letcher County that would let a thing of this kind interfere with his opportunity to get an education. We are not the softies that Hitler and Tojo said we were. We will walk two miles, three miles, and even five miles so that the boys in Sicily and the South Sea Islands can have weapons with which to win this war.”

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Declaring himself “The Miner’s Friend,” Dr. John C. Coldiron has announced his candidacy for the office of Kentucky State Senator in the Letcher-Perry District. Coldiron, a surgeon in Perry and surrounding counties, said he will “work in every way possible to raise the standards and living conditions of the miners to a higher and broader plane” and will amend the Workmen’s Compensation Law “in such a way as to be more fair and liberal toward the injured employee.”

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Abbott Holbrook is in serious condition in the Fleming Hospital and Blaine Kiser is in the Letcher County Jail as a result of a stabbing on the streets of Neon on Monday afternoon. According to reliable information, the stabbing was the result of a longstanding grudge.

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Margaret Kathleen Cornett of Whitesburg has enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, or SPARS. A yeoman third class, Miss Cornett is now a Coast Guard recruiter assigned to this area. She was an employee in the Letcher County Court Clerk’s Office before joining the Coast Guard.

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The Daniel Boone Hotel of Whitesburg is renting rooms to schoolgirls. Anyone interested is asked to speak with the manager.

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Letcher County businessman Willie Dawahare says a recent fishing trip to the Cumberland River with Cossie Quillen, Virgil Yonts and Dr. J.H. Hayne of Fleming was a “two in one, his first and his last.”

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Mr. Walter Kries has resigned as store manager of the Elkhorn Coal Company at Kona and will report on August 7 at Oak Ridge, Tenn., for work in the TVA Government Restricted Area. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Herman are moving from Charleston, W.Va., to Letcher County, where Mr. Herman will manage the Whitesburg Department Store.

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Barnes V. Hubbard, 24-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. David Hubbard of Whitesburg, was among 71 U.S. soldiers recently commissioned as second lieutenants after several months of rigorous Commando-style training at and Officer Candidate School somewhere in England. Lt. Hubbard was graduated from Eolia High School in 1933 and later was employed as a heavy equipment operator by Gordon Lewis and Sons, Whitesburg.

July 30, 1953

The Korean War ends after three years and two months of bitter struggle. The guns fell silent Sunday night, 37 months after the Communists brought conflict, death and misery to the Asian peninsula. Thus ended — at least for the present — a war that had cost the antagonists nearly 2.5 million casualties. Only five minutes before the guns ended their almost ceaseless mutter, the Allies cut loose with the tremendous barrage that shook the valleys and bruised hills of the Central front. The Communist guns, which had been blazing away along most of the 150-mile front, then ceased firing.

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Funeral services were held in Hazard this week for Blackey native Navar Arthur Pittman, 19, killed in a gun battle in Jackson July 23 with a Breathitt County magistrate. Pittman was shot five times by Magistrate Courtney Holbrook after Pittman shot Holbrook once in the chest. The shooting happened after Holbrook stopped Pittman, who was driving a stolen car from Bourbon County, to ask for his driver’s license. Pittman was later identified as James Mays, an escapee from Kentucky Village at Greendale. He escaped Greendale with four other prisoners after they assaulted a guard and broke the guard’s skull. Pittman was buried in Hazard, the home of his grandmother Blanche Jent, after authorities were unable to locate family members in Blackey.

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Attorney LeRoy Fields, employed by the citizens of Neon and Fleming to retain the passenger service of the L&N Railroad between Fleming and Lexington, told The Mountain Eagle this week that the Kentucky Railroad Commission has voted 2-1 to keep intact the service of trains No. 3 and No. 4.

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The Marshall’s Branch School, established about 100 years ago to serve children in parts of Letcher and Pike counties, will undergo changes after the Pike County Board of Educated voted to bus that county’s students to Dorton. The Letcher County School System will maintain a two-teacher school for Letcher pupils.

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Fleming-Neon High School football coach Jim Vugrin, a former star at the University of Tennessee, has accepted the head coaching position at Jellico (Tenn.) High School.

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The first 3D movie produced by a major Hollywood studio will be shown in Whitesburg August 9 and 10 at the Alene Theater. “House of Wax,” a horror film produced by Warner Bros. studios, stars Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy and Phyllis Kirk.

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More than 500 Boy Scouts, including several from Letcher County, have made reservations to attend Shawnee Scout Camp on Dewey Lake, near Prestonsburg, during the 1953 season.

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Coach Ed Moore and his Whitesburg Yellowjackets football team will take the field Monday, August 3, in preparation for the first game with Prestonsburg on September 4 at home.

August 1, 1963

Sam J. Bates, a prominent figure in Letcher County, was shot and killed at Blair Lake, a private fishing lake on the south side of Pine Mountain. Edwin Dearl Rowe of Partridge, operator of a restaurant-dance hall at Blair Lake, was charged with murder in connection with the shooting.

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Ray Biggerstaff, commander of the Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, had been named an “All-American Post Commander” by the national VFW.

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Whitesburg sent its new fire truck to fight a fire in Hazard, where flames did about $200,000 in damage. The cities have a reciprocal agreement and the Hazard fire truck would come to Whitesburg for a major fire, a city official says.

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Whole fryers are on sale for 25 cents a pound at Hall Supermarket. Ham hocks cost $1.97 for 12 pounds.

August 2, 1973

Members of the United Steelworkers have ended a three-day walkout at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital. The strike began at Williamson, W.Va., when a worker was suspended. It quickly spread to Whitesburg, McDowell and Hazard in Kentucky, and Man and Beckley in West Virginia.

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A letter from the National Coal Association to Congressmen and Senators inviting them to a pre-season Redskins game and party is reprinted in The Mountain Eagle. An Eagle editorial says, “Coincident with the arrival of the invitation to the cocktail party and the ball game comes the report that there is just about no chance left that Congress will do anything at all about strip mining legislation. The coal and oil companies yell ‘boo’ and our public defenders and champions of the people jump.”

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Mr. and Mrs. John B. Caudill are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, while Mr. and Mrs. George Lundy are celebrating their 50th anniversary.

July 27, 1983

Students whose parents strongly endorse learning generally pick up information and ideas faster than those whose parents don’t take school seriously, says Sue Hall, a teacher at Letcher High School. “Parents need to have a genuine interest in what their children are doing and not just look at a report card,” she says.

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Local stores sold out of air conditioners during a 15- day heat wave. The temperatures have cooled off somewhat, but are expected to rise to the 90s in a few days.

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Codell Gibson Jr. and Dean Fields came upon a fourfoot rattlesnake while hunting a Kingdom Come. Fields, who shot the snake, a timber rattler, says he and Gibson spotted it after it crawled out of a small stream of water. The snake has 13 rattles and a button.

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Letcher County Jail officials say they are working ahead of schedule to correct deficiencies and bring the jail into compliance with state guidelines. The state Corrections Cabinet had inspected the jail and had issued a list of improvements that had to be made, including installation of a second exit to lead prisoners and jail employees from the jail in case of a fire or other emergency.

August 4, 1993

Letcher Countians are being asked if they would work for $4.25 an hour at the proposed Pine Mountain Lumber Company plant in Whitesburg. Judge/Executive Ruben Watts says that because of opposing opinions concerning the proposed plant, he would like to hear from prospective workers.

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Revenues of the Letcher County and Jenkins Independent school systems have increased more than $9 million a year since the Kentucky Education Reform Act took effect in 1990.

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Letcher County could save about $350 a day by recycling five tons of trash a day, estimates the Solid Waste/ Environmental Issues Task Force of the Kentucky River Area Development District. That figure includes more than $100 a day in avoided dumping fees as well as earnings of $250 or more by the sale of recycled material.

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An editorial in The Mountain Eagle says, “Letcher Countians need to consider whether the county wants to see its timber cut down to provide logs for the worldwide market. Or should the county demand the kind of bargain that could create a substantial number of jobs?”

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Ike Adams says about his Jeep truck, “You can tell where I’ve been just by cruising around parking lots and looking for big spots of fresh oil.” He says the truck has a great radio, and describes it as “a good stereo on decent tires.”

August 6, 2003

After 14 months in Iraq and Kuwait, Travis Roark got a hero’s welcome when he came home to Kingscreek.

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The starting date for Letcher High School and Letcher Elementary School was delayed this week after it became clear that renovation of the elementary school would not be finished in time for students to return to classes.

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Fleming-Neon Mayor Harlan “Tootie” Seals has vetoed the city budget after council members shifted money from one fund to another before approving it.

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Three Letcher County high schools rank among the worst in the state in attendance rates, figures released by the Kentucky Department of Education show. Letcher High School had the third worst attendance rate among the state’s 1,232 public schools during the 2001-2002 school year. Whitesburg High School had the 32nd worst attendance, and Fleming-Neon High School had the 34th worst attendance rate.


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